High street vs online bookmakers – Which are better in 2019?

By April 24, 2019Betting
High street vs online bookmakers

Online bookmakers are incredibly popular in 2019 but are they better than traditional high street bookies and if so, why?

There’s no doubt, online betting has taken off in the last few years and it’s had a profound impact on the entire betting industry.

With so many potential customers just a few clicks away, the bookmakers have continued to improve their digital platforms leaving traditional betting stores under increasing pressure.

Betting in 2019

Unfortunately, high-street betting stores are dying a slow death. Due to a decrease in store revenues and fierce competition from online bookies, more and more physical stores are closing each year.

However, this isn’t isolated to the betting industry. Many high street shops are facing tough times as online stores continue to dominate.

Like the majority of digital platforms, online bookmakers have many inherent benefits when compared to high street betting stores. This has led to many punters placing their wagers online rather than in physical betting shops.

Traditional bookmakers such as Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral have all taken big hits over the last few years, being forced to close a large number of their stores. The stake limit on FOBTs (fixed odds betting terminals) was the last major rule change that significantly affected high street bookmakers’ revenue.

All in all, traditional betting stores are struggling. However, you should still consider using them.

As with anything, there are pros and cons to either option. In this article, we’ll look at whether physical or online betting shops are better in 2019.

Read on to find out more.

The benefits of online betting

There are many benefits of online bookmakers which make them so popular in 2019. We’ll take a look at some of the key ones below:

  • Access to hundreds of bookmakers
  • Welcome bonuses and other promotions
  • Ease of placing bets online
  • Access to the best odds in the industry
  • Cash free betting

1. Access to hundreds of bookmakers

Online you have access to hundreds of different bookmakers at the click of a button which we’ll look at next. This makes the process of placing bets in store somewhat ineffective.

As I mentioned in the previous point, you have an endless supply of bookmakers you can use online. This is good for a number of reasons.

Online bookmakers 2019

Mainly you have access to the best odds across the betting industry, you have access to the best promotions offered by the bookmakers and the best platforms that receive the best ratings etc.

Each online bookmaker has its own pros and cons which suit different bettors. Therefore you can decide which bookie you think will suit your needs. For more information on our favourite bookies, head to this page.

2. Welcome bonuses and other promotions

One of the key ingredients to online betting in 2019 is the huge range of free bets and other promotions the bookmakers offer new and existing customers.

Most online bookies offer some kind of promotion when new players sign up. Generally, the sign-up offers will look something like this Smarkets free bet.

Smarkets £10 free bet

Whilst this kind of promotion can only be used once, you’ve unlocked a huge range of ongoing promotions the bookies use to keep customers returning. Bettors call these reload offers.

Existing customers will have access to free bets, enhanced odds and other forms of promotion. You’ll typically find a lot of offers on larger sporting events like the World Cup or the Grand National.

Whilst high street betting stores do offer their own promotions, they aren’t nearly as rewarding or profitable as online bookmakers’ offers.

So with betting online, you’re going to have access to a huge range of rewarding offers that you could potentially profit from using techniques like matched betting.

3. Ease of placing bets online

One of the key reasons online betting has become so popular over the last few years is thanks to the ease of placing bets online.

It’s so simple to pick up your mobile phone or open your laptop and place a bet these days. No matter what time of day it is or your location, you can always place your bets.

Long gone are the days when you’d need to take a trip to your local high street store to place a wager on your favourite footy team. Thanks to the internet, you can place your bets without even leaving your home!

A process that may have taken more than 10 minutes can now be done in under one minute, especially if you use bookmakers’ mobile apps.

Overall, the ease of placing bets online is one of the main reasons why the industry has become such a growth market over the last 5 years or so.

4. Access to the best odds instantaneously

The betting industry moves at a fast pace and there’s always new sports news or information available that can drastically change the odds of a market.

For that reason, the Internet and betting go hand in hand. Odds can be and are updated every second to reflect the true market price. This is especially true if you use a betting exchange like Smarkets.

Whilst a fast-paced industry means punters need to be on the ball, it often means there’s plenty of opportunity to profit from your betting.

In comparison, the high street industry moves much more slowly. Odds generally need to be changed manually or re-written meaning prices often lag behind their online counterparts.

Furthermore, with odds comparison sites like Odds Checker, you can easily find the best odds in the industry for a given market.

Odds Checker

Online betting sites have better odds than physical stores due to the nature of their business models. A punter is likely to receive lower odds at a traditional shop as the margins are higher for the bookmaker.

This means they build more profit into the odds, meaning less value for the bettor. There are considerably more overheads running a shop compared to an online store meaning shops are at a disadvantage.

Overall, online betting sites offer better, more up to date odds when compared to traditional betting stores.

5. Cash free betting

No need to carry notes around in your pocket when it comes to online bookmakers. In 2019, most online betting companies have a huge range of different payment methods you can use to deposit into your accounts. These include:

  • Debit and credit cards
  • eWallets
  • Prepaid cards
  • Wire/bank transfers

With online betting, you can save your preferred payment information for future deposits and withdrawals. This speeds up the whole process meaning you can spend more time deciding what bets to place.

Whilst you could say there are benefits of placing bets in cash (which we’ll come onto later), online payment methods are typically much easier to work with.

Benefits of betting in store

Whilst there are many benefits of betting online, there are still some benefits of using good old-fashioned high street betting stores. We’ll take a look at these below.

1. Zero traces of your bets

Some bettors may want to stay below the bookie’s radar for certain bets they place. Placing cash bets in-store is one way to ensure no trace is left of your bets.

Online bettors do not have the same ability to avoid their bets being tracked. Bookies track punters information when they place bets online. They even create a complete account profile to assess how that customer affects their bottom line.

Some bookies use this information to place restrictions on accounts that are winning too much. Once again, this is unlikely to happen at a high street bookmaker. The staff are probably oblivious to who comes each day.

2. Access to betting coupons

Sometimes you may want to use the bookmaker’s football coupons for a certain game or event. These coupons are not available at online betting sites meaning you’ll need to access them from high-street betting stores.

What’s more, you can use these football coupons to make a guaranteed profit by using a technique like arbitrage betting. Football coupons are generally printed the previous day meaning they’re often out of date and don’t have the latest odds like online betting sites do.

Therefore, if the odds move in your favour you could make a profit. For more information, check out this article about sharbing (shop arbitrage).

Online or high-street betting?

As you can see, online betting totally outweighs shop betting in 2019. Here’s a quick recap of the advantages you’ll have when betting online:

  • You’ll have access to hundreds of bookmakers any time and anywhere
  • You can take advantage of a huge range of free bets and promotions
  • You’ll get better odds with lower margins

Whilst there are considerably fewer benefits to betting in store in 2019, there are still times when you may want to visit high street bookies.

Your cash bets won’t have any trace at high street shops and you may be able to profit from football coupons. It can also be fun going back to the good old days.

Overall, I recommend you use a mixture of both online and high-street betting stores to mix it up and keep your betting interesting.

What do you think is the main benefit of using online bookmakers? Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

Keep reading

Best bookmakers of 2019
The ins and outs of tracking your bets

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About Charles

Charles is the founder of The Sure Bettor. He built the company with the aim of 'getting the word out' about matched betting.

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